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Crime . Biography . Drama

As the trial begins, Christopher Darden and Johnnie Cochran face off in court. Chris has doubts about Mark Fuhrman as a witness. The jury visits the crime scene.

Episode Title: The Race Card
Airs: 2016-03-01 at 22:00
  • Terry Terrones

    A stellar cast, deft storytelling and the drama of a trial that polarized America make for compelling television 21 years later.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    If there is just one thing that The People v. O.J. Simpson is, it’s maddening. Fascinating and involved and nuanced and sympathetic, too.

    Salon Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    An enthralling recollection of a tragic mess with a long legacy, The People v. O.J. Simpson fits our moment like a glove.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Overall, this is not a piece designed to “expose” the truth behind the OJ Simpson case. It’s more about how exposed the case was in the first place. It’s also just flat-out entertaining television, filled with strong performances from top to bottom and razor-sharp writing. Full Review
  • David Sims

    American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson understands the nuances of the moment it’s examining, and its critical bearing on issues still playing out in culture today. It might be the best thing that’s ever aired with Murphy’s name on it, and it’s one of the most compelling TV dramas in recent memory.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Insightful and even important as it is, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story succeeds best as riveting entertainment. Just as with the original trial, it’s hard to stop watching.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    Both Paulson and Vance are Emmy-worthy. The miniseries is, too, primarily because it makes us care about a story that once seemed impossible to escape.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Against all odds, this tightly written, sometimes stunningly performed 10-part drama avoids all those pitfalls, capturing the tenor of the time and breathing life into the participants. Not to mention re-creating a crackling good courtroom drama that fiction can only envy.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Somewhat shockingly, this 10-part, limited series quickly proves itself deeply engrossing and surprisingly entertaining, even though many viewers will know almost every beat of the story. Credit a strong cast--especially “American Horror Story” veteran Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark--and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, working from Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” for turning this “trial of the century” into what could be the limited series of the year.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The treatment is serious, thoughtful, and an introductory triumph for this American Crime Story franchise.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    Through six episodes, it's on track to be one of the best first seasons of television ever made, especially considering the cultural climate surrounding its release.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    A remarkable piece of work that carves muscular narrative lines though the tangled legal thickets of the trial while keeping a delicate touch on the chiaroscuro of its characterizations. If ever there was such a thing as must-see TV, this is it. Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Best series of the year so far. Easily.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Thoroughly absorbing through the first six episodes made available for review, it fully lives up to the FX come-on: “You Don’t Know the Half of It.”

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    Though the verdict polarized the country, most will agree on the merits of The People v. O.J. Simpson as terrific TV. [1-14 Feb 2016, p.18]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Tim Molloy

    The FX limited-run series is every bit as watchable as the insanely watchable trial.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    The show's ungimmicky and sociological fly-on-the-wall approach — you'd never guess Ryan Murphy of the outrageous "Glee" and "American Horror Story" is the man behind the curtain — is particularly effective, perhaps because the events were so outrageous on their own.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Executive producer Ryan Murphy--best known for “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Scream Queens”--here has created his most mature, confident series. He also directed the first two episodes, and his work is free of cheap tricks or gimmicks. The truth is so strange, he doesn’t need them.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    Simpson so skillfully shapes each personality that in just a few episodes, they almost stop being real people and become televisual characters. It feels less like a true-crime miniseries and more like a rich, layered legal drama, and ironically, the fictional patina makes it easier to engage with and invest in a story the audience assumes it knows inside and out.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Adam Graham

    You already know the outcome. Yet you can’t stop watching, thanks to Murphy’s flashy dramatization, which is just the approach the “Trial of the Century” richly deserves.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    FX’s 10-part series The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" is a superior effort, a successful attempt both to vividly re-create the original case and to intelligently reframe it from a more knowing 2016 perspective.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Isaac Feldberg

    That Travolta’s camp is a weak link actually points to a greater net positive about American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson. Though it’s beautifully shot, tautly written, and acted within an inch of its life, the series is uncommonly committed to the truth.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The casting is terrific.... There are numerous surprises, including how riveting the tale is in this telling.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    A frequently fascinating look behind the scenes of a case whose mix of celebrity, race, and money still resonates.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    In some episodes, it's really good, and even when not everything clicks, it's relentlessly addictive, returning the primacy to a story that was ceded to the tabloids long ago. The miniseries digs deeper than you'd expect, poking at the messy intersections of race, gender, and class that so much TV still shies away from, and it will remind you, time and again, of bits and pieces of the trial you'd completely forgotten about. Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    The show acquits itself well. Despite the audience’s knowledge that the former football star Orenthal James Simpson will be found not guilty (history is not a spoiler, sorry), the series is absorbing, infuriating and, yes, thoroughly entertaining.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    The People v. O.J. Simpson isn’t flawless, and it probably won’t stand up to the sort of factual scrutiny that still swirls around its subject matter, but it is ambitiously imagined, surprisingly responsible and practically unerring in tone and pace.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Emily Nussbaum

    The series is not, in the first six episodes sent to critics, crude or cartoonish but ideologically and emotionally nuanced, with each episode providing a shift in perspective, as if turning a daisy wheel of empathy.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    This so-called “limited series” takes the facts of the Simpson case and, by bending and shaping the emphases of those facts, turns it into a startlingly stirring critique of racism, sexism, and the judicial system that still resonates today. To be sure, the series also contains its share of laughs and excess.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    Ultimately, watching the trial play out as a fait accompli gives it the heft and structure of a classical tragedy in which everyone is undone by his or her seeming strengths turned to weaknesses.

    Slate Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    Travolta's cartoonish Shapiro is the exception, after all, and even most of the peripheral performances court favorable verdicts.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Like the trial itself--and the spectacle that surrounded it--The People v. O.J. Simpson is sometimes trashy, often disturbing, and so compelling that it's impossible to stop watching.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Arresting from the get-go, the performances in this limited series are almost uniformly superb (with one glaring exception).

    Variety Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    The first two episodes--which track the night of the June 12, 1994, murders and the day after--are the best of the six (out of 10 total) available to reviewers.... A first-rate cast makes the procedure [the trial] seem as dramatic as possible.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Kimberly Roots

    The People v. O.J. Simpson‘s true feat is its ability to build real suspense using moments burned into our national consciousness.

    TVLine Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    [Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski] and their fellow writers do a good job getting the information out, (mostly) without making the dialogue too obviously expository; it happens at times, but it almost can't be helped. As producer and sometimes director, Murphy keeps the production pretty level-headed-- not documentary naturalism, exactly, but close enough for respect.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    American Crime Story still has to live, to some extent, in the shadow of the real events it portrays, but so far it seems to navigate the weight of those memories and cultural touchstones in a highly engaging, incredibly frustrating, and occasionally wonderful way.

    Collider Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story is thoroughly, surprisingly entertaining--but not always for the reasons that the people behind it intended.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The show is nourished by Toobin’s contemporaneous reporting, which dives deep into the supporting characters’ motivations.... Some viewers might be turned off by Crime Story’s focus on celebrity and its winking references to the family of Simpson defense attorney Robert Kardashian (Friends star David Schwimmer), of which there are too many. The point, though, stands: the Simpson trial was fueled by fame and, troublingly, generated fame for those involved.

    Time Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    For the most part, Murphy & Co. are content to mine this familiar material for pathos and corrosive satire. There isn’t a bad performance anywhere in this production, and while a few of them fail to rise above the level of a very good imitation (Travolta’s Shapiro is all sculpted eyebrows, puckered smirks, and constricted body language), most of them go far beyond that.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    [The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story] often feels like an elaborate stunt, but still ekes out ample nuance, humanity and humor, despite a couple clunky performances that threaten to spin the series into the realm of camp.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    The performances, especially Gooding’s and Travolta’s, are over the top, but, heck, so were the real-life events. Gooding and Travolta show just how sensational the whole thing was. The trial captured a nation’s imagination, and, more than 20 years later, it still does.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    The enduring notoriety of the Simpson case and memories of the live courtroom broadcasts are enough to hook viewers regardless of the problems with the series. Some of the problems are minor, others we can sweep under the rug as the show progresses, one is unfortunately insurmountable [casting John Travolta as Robert Shapiro].

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ed Gonzalez

    Even for those who aren't old enough to remember the so-called trial of the century in great detail, this nostalgia-stoking enterprise largely exudes a contemptuous sense of observation. In dramatizations of less knowable incidents, the filmmakers bluntly and mockingly acknowledge the key players' behind-the-scenes travails.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    It’s more interested in exploring, often inelegantly, issues of race and class, big ideas that get steamrolled under Murphy’s usual bombastic production style (his main contribution as a director is a lot of distractingly swooping camera moves).

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review

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